Respect the umpires, says Lesser

THE Goldenhope Foundation is urging central Victorian football and soccer leagues to get behind their campaign to be more respectful to umpires.

Their renewed call of support has come off the back of the booing incident which occured during  Friday night’s game between Essendon and Sydney.

AFL umpire Troy Pannell and Sydney player Nick Malceski collided in the third quarter, knocking Pannell out.

A portion of the crowd was then heard booing the concussed umpire as he was stretchered off the ground.

Goldenhope Foundation’s Max Lesser said the organisation’s initiative, ‘No Meanness to the Whistle’, was an important campaign for the community to get behind.

“It is an Australian first,” he said.

“We are at the forefront of this issue.

“The Castlemaine Football Club, local schools, the masters footy, Lions and Rotary clubs are all behind it.

“There is big support growing for this.”

Lesser said it wasn’t okay for children or adults to abuse umpires.

“There should be more respect for umpires,” he said.

Lesser said the campaign, which began last year, was a success.

“Last year when we did the campaign we saw a change in attitude from players and spectators,” Lesser said.  

About 12,000 cards have been printed and handed out to fans at local football games. 

For more information on the campaign email

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